World's Oldest Fledgling

The blog of Stephanie Wardrop, Y A Author

Have a Masked Love Holiday this Season!

on November 12, 2013

Image Nicole Zoltack’s just released a holiday Regency novella from Swoon Romance, and it sounds like a good one! Here’s a taste:

Isabelle is content being a maid, and will do anything for her lady, even accompany her to a masquerade ball. Lady Theodosia needs extra support and encouragement on this night, for tomorrow she will meet the man her parents have pledged her to. 
Isabelle has never had occasion to attend such an event, and is at first ill at ease. But meeting an enchanting young man during the course of the evening makes her wish for a life she can never have. Thinking she will never see him again, she returns his flirtation and even reveals her face. Imagine her shock when he shows up the next morning, announcing his claim on Lady Thedosia. 
Isabelle does all she can to avoid Lord Adrian Wingave, but then he not only sees her, he recognizes her. To make matters worse, Isabelle fears her feelings are not one-sided. Torn between duty and desire, Isabelle hopes for something more this Christmas.

As a Regency/Jane Austen fan myself, I was happy to join her blog tour to introduce the book to the world. And since it’s almost officially the holiday season, Nicole and I thought we would share some Regency-era holiday traditions you could incorporate into your festivities next month.

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The Christmas tree itself didn’t become as popular as it is now until later in the nineteenth century, though some Regency homes would have had trees decorated with ornaments and candles if they were connected with German traditions. There’s some debate about who brought the Christmas tree to England, with some arguing that Prince Albert did so, and others claiming Queen Charlotte introduced it in 1800; both are German-born.

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Boughs were also brought inside country homes, filling them with the fragrance of holly or hawthorn, and “kissing boughs” of evergreens, apples and flowers might hang over doorways like our more familiar mistletoe. Christmas carols are also more of a Victorian tradition, though if you were the first to sit by the Yule log in the fireplace you were considered likely to have good luck in the future.  On Christmas Day, you’d likely attend church, then have a family dinner (often a boar’s head — ewwww) and plum pudding (which my mom makes every year with a coin baked in for good luck). Gifts were given mostly to children or to the landowner in the form of a tithe; the next day, Boxing Day, the gentry would reward their servants and other aides with a Christmas “box” or gift.

As for the traditional “White Christmas”, sources indicate that the weather in the Regency era in late December was often rainy and damp and too warm for snow.  Nonetheless, this illustration from an 1898 edition of Jane Austen’s Emma is titled “Christmas Weather”:

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Whatever you celebrate and whatever the weather where you do so, we wish you happy, as an Austen character would say.
Check out Nicole at her website and blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
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One response to “Have a Masked Love Holiday this Season!

  1. Yes, everyone have a happy Christmas! Thank you, Steph!

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